Monday, September 25, 2017

Bird Watching... Fun For All Ages

The baby-green whisper thin wheat and winter grasses are emerging right on schedule. Autumn has arrived and is a season unto itself wondrous to behold and enjoy before winter. With pleasant temperatures and bright sunshine, it is perfect for taking a walk, swishing through the falling leaves.
As the leaves have begun to thin, it is easy to see birds who are no longer hidden among masses of greenery. As the flit among bare branches, they become a visual delight to watch as they too enjoy this fine weather.
The National Audubon Society has provided a provocative article on the joy of birding, which is the practice of bird watching. There are people who are avid birders, keeping notes on species they have seen, where they were found or where they nest, how many babies hatched, and how many eggs did not. The serious birders often gather in groups to seek a rare species and photograph it with very expensive cameras to impress other birders. Then there are simple bird-watchers…most of us fall into this category.
The Society encourages parents to teach all of their children, from toddlers to teenagers, the joys of bird watching. Children have an enormous capacity for taking in knowledge and storing it… their minds must like sponges for them to learn all that they do in a few short years. From speaking to walking, observing to participating, what they learn as youngsters will stay with them for life, expanding as they grow.
Libraries have numerous books on birds and where they travel (migrate) so presenting one to a child will immediately pique their interest. Perhaps add a miniature pair of binoculars for fun and the months will simply fly by.
Today’s children who learn to love birding are the future of our planet for they may become environmentalists and scientists…  they may discover a new species or save one that is fading.
This week try to see and enjoy the migrations of the Hawks and Vultures, who will all be kettling… which means hundreds will gather in a field until an invisible signal is sent which causes them to suddenly begin flying upward in a swirling motion… higher and higher with others joining each moment. Up and up until out of sight… they are going south for the winter and will not return until spring.  

John James Audubon 1826  

*The Audubon Society, founded in 1905, is the oldest non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation. It is named in honor John James Audubon who observed, painted, cataloged, and described the birds of North America in 1827-38.  

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